Hockenheim Practice 2: Hamilton tops as Mercedes own day one

Lewis Hamilton fastest in FP1

Lewis Hamilton fastest in FP1

Lewis Hamilton denied Mercedes team mate, and chief championship rival, Nico Rosberg the satisfaction of lapping fastest on the first day of his home German Grand Prix weekend at Hockenheim.

With track temperatures soaring to the fifties, Hamilton set a sizzling pace with a quickest lap of 1:18.341 seconds in the afternoon session.

Formula 1 World Championship leader Rosberg, who had been fastest before lunch with a best of 1:19.131, was second on the timesheets a mere 0.024 off Hamilton’s pace.

Dominant Mercedes, seeking their first German Grand Prix victory as a works team since Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio triumphed 60 years ago at the Nurburgring, finished one-two in both sessions.

Daniel Ricciardo was best of the rest

Daniel Ricciardo was best of the rest

Friday was the first chance to assess the performance of cars since the governing body ruled against a front and rear interconnected suspension (FRIC) systems.

All teams had presented their cars for scrutineering without the systems on Thursday but the times showed no significant change in the pecking order even if champions Red Bull appeared to have edged slightly closer.

Mercedes also made a rare pitlane bungle when they had the wrong tyres ready for Hamilton during a race simulation and Rosberg had to wait behind him with overheating brakes.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, who has won the last two races at the southern circuit which alternates with the Nurburgring, was third fastest in the morning – and 0.292 off the pace – and then ninth in the afternoon.

Kimi Raikkonen was fourth fastest

Kimi Raikkonen was fourth fastest

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, the only driver other than the Mercedes pair to win a race this season, was fourth and third fastest respectively. The Australian’s quadruple champion team mate and last year’s German GP winner Sebastian Vettel was sixth and eighth.

Further back, Susie Wolff had a second chance to make her mark among the men after her involvement at Silverstone two weeks ago was cut short due to an engine problem with the Williams.

The first woman to take part in a grand prix weekend in 22 years managed 22 laps in the morning session and ended up an impressive 15th fastest, only a fraction slower than the Force India of 14th placed Mexican Sergio Perez.

Perez had made headlines in Britain when he jokingly told a Spanish television reporter that he would not want to be beaten by a woman driver. His time on Friday of 1:20.598 compared to Wolff’s 1:20.769.

Kamui Kobayashi's Caterham caught alight

Kamui Kobayashi’s Caterham caught alight

Brazilian Felipe Massa, the team’s race regular, was only 11th fastest with a best time of 1:20.542 but was sixth after lunch with team mate Valtteri Bottas taking back his car from Wolff and ending 10th quickest.

Wolff’s session was not without stress, and she hit trouble on her opening lap out of the garage when the car suffered a sensor problem.

Whether she gets a chance to progress further remains uncertain, and Wolff is under no illusions, “The next step is obviously to do more and that’s the difficult part, to get more opportunities.”

“I was incredibly lucky to get the chance with this team this season and of course I have to try to get more opportunities, but as we know that’s not easy. So I need to start fighting for that now.”

Caterham, under new ownership following the departure of Malaysian entrepreneur Tony Fernandes, had a torrid day with Kamui Kobayashi’s car catching fire. The Japanese joined marshals in extinguishing the flames. (Reuters)

 

German Grand Prix, Free Practice 2 – Friday, 18 July 2014
Pos No Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:18.341 38
2 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:18.365 0.024 39
3 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:18.443 0.102 35
4 7 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:18.887 0.546 38
5 20 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1:18.960 0.619 40
6 19 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1:19.024 0.683 36
7 22 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:19.221 0.880 40
8 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:19.248 0.907
9 14 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:19.329 0.988
10 77 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1:19.385 1.044
11 99 Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1:19.417 1.076
12 26 Daniil Kvyat STR-Renault 1:19.452 1.111
13 11 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1:19.581 1.240
14 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:19.593 1.252
15 25 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Renault 1:19.760 1.419
16 13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1:20.158 1.817
17 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:20.358 2.017
18 21 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1:20.504 2.163
19 17 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1:21.328 2.987
20 9 Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1:21.870 3.529
21 4 Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1:21.898 3.557
22 10 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1:23.728 5.387